‘Doctor Who’ Season 6 ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ Review & Discussion

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doctor who lets kill hitler 3 570x320 Doctor Who Season 6 Lets Kill Hitler Review & Discussion

When the highly anticipated Doctor Who season 6 return episode, entitled “Let’s Kill Hitler,” begins, it’s hard to hold back the unenthusiastic shock as an awkwardly presented storyline, wrapped in a ridiculous premise, serves to present the audience with the notion of begrudgingly accepting what’s occurring, all while second-guessing their commitment to the series.

Fortunately (and thankfully), this fallacy of uninspired contrivances lasted but a mere fraction of the episode, as the (hopefully) planned ruse made way for brilliant and original storytelling, rich character development, as well as shocking revelations that one can expect from a series with a proven pedigree.

With Rory and Amy returned to their normal timeline, a beautifully composed tracking shot of the childless couple speeding through a cornfield to an open area containing the TARDIS briefly elicits compelling thoughts of impending plotlines. Unfortunately, as a sports car containing Amy and Rory’s “long-time” friend (who was never previously mentioned), Mel, bursts onto the scene, all notions of a cryptic meaning to the episode title quickly disappeared as a ridiculous flashback, a threat of a gun pointed at the Doctor, and a boisterous command of “Let’s Kill Hitler” from the ever unfamiliar Mel brought on a feeling of dread regarding what the rest of the episode might entail.

A jump back to Berlin in 1938 introduces us to the presumed alien threat for the episode, the Teselecta. With revelations of a transformative body manned by miniature beings, the intent is clear that the ridiculous quest for righting the wrong of Hitler’s history by the nefarious Mel will be circumvented by the robotic aliens driven by their assumed good intentions.

A crash into Hitler’s office, an awkward introduction, and an extraterrestrial showdown involving the master of the Third Reich leads to the most satisfying turnaround of the year: this episode has nothing to do with Hitler. Aside from a episodic title mention and quip from the Doctor telling Rory to “take Hitler and put him in the cupboard,” all of the fan speculation regarding the title of the Doctor Who season 6 return episode appears to have been wasted. Though as the true story begins to unfold, one hardly cares about past expenditures of fanatical hypothesizing.

doctor who lets kill hitler 2 570x320 Doctor Who Season 6 Lets Kill Hitler Review & Discussion

A shot fired from the Teselecta – aimed at Hitler, but striking Mel – reveals the brilliantly missing bookend to the story of River Song. As Mel lay dying, her arms begin to glow – like that of a Time Lord. An announcement that Mel is actually short for Melody exposes the truth that Amy and Rory’s daughter has been acting as their best friend for the majority of the couple’s life – including helping Amy progress past her notion that Rory is a homosexual. With that, Mel regenerates into her most familiar form – River Song.

Unfortunately, a Back to the Future moment telling the story of an offspring helping to secure the future of their family is not what’s in the cards. Since Melody was raised with the goal of killing the Doctor, her intent stays true – even if Melody has now regenerated into River Song’s appearance. A kiss on the lips with a bit a poison and the Doctor’s life is whittled down to but a mere 31 minutes (He’ll be dead in 32 minutes, says young Amelia Pond).

What follows the death strike by the clueless River Song is nothing short of brilliant storytelling. With so much information competently presented, the ability to completely recite exactly what all was revealed would be complicated at best. To sum it up, everything was revealed. From the biggest questions regarding River Song’s evolution, to the passing wonderings about whether or not plot holes were created with the execution of this story. If there were any doubts regarding Steven Moffat’s ability to continue his largely regarded brilliance as the executive producer, and head writer of  Doctor Who, this episode most certainly puts things to rest.

doctor who lets kill hitler 1 570x320 Doctor Who Season 6 Lets Kill Hitler Review & Discussion

While it can certainly be said that the surprising shift in the actual presented story could be a sign of sloppy storytelling, one could hardly fault Moffat for advertising one select adventure and then, in actuality, delivering something more fantastically wonderful than what was expected.

Since there have been a few episodes of Doctor Who season 6 that have been somewhat below the expectations of the series’ many fans, it may be easier for fans to initially respond negatively to the roller coaster of emotional storytelling. That being said, whatever lingering resentment may have remained following the summer hiatus should absolutely be absolved at the conclusion of tonight’s episode.

Doctor Who airs Saturdays @9pm on BBC America

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. My husband and i have been really looking forward to this and last night after we put our little boy to bed. we got into bed ready for mummy and daddy time. We prerecorded both x factor and doctor who. We started with the trash (x factor) and moved on to the tv gold with a bathroom break inbetween. I wish i could convey the excitment and anticipation this caused in my 27 year old system.

    We were not disapointed. The twists and turns were fantastic. The dialogue was average to good and Alex Kingston is still my absolute role model. I hope to look like her when i grow up.

    The pressure put on doctor who is stupid. It is not a life changing Documentary it is the finest quality saturday night family entertainment. If you want a more tense atmospheric serious time travel/space paraphanalia/emo drama then watch Torchwood (its not for kids).

    I loved it My husband loved it and i am sad that i only have five more episodes to watch this year.

    Also Steven moffat is a genius and you ought to lay down before him and be grateful.

    What have you got to say about that?

    • I agree that x-factor is trash and hasn’t been good at all. And I agree that the episode was good, but I will never lay down before Moffat and be grateful for a story that I could easily write. He’s not a genius and it bothers me that he is almost bigger than Doctor Who and that everyone thinks he is the reason Doctor Who is so ‘amazing.’ Some of the best episodes are the ones that Moffat didn’t write. In fact some of the best episodes aren’t even from this decade!
      I’m not saying he’s bad, he is good, but he’s overhyped. And honestly Moffat actually sacrificed some brilliant possibilities with what he’s done with River…he’s gone from making her an open ended story to a short chapter in the Doctor Who Universe. A genius wouldn’t have done that….just saying.

  2. Maybe someone else already mentioned this…..But there’s a huge gap in logic here (Well actually a few gaps) with River Song. First and foremost is how two people who are so white they almost glow ended up with a young daughter/friend with mocha colored skin? Are we to assume she was killed as a baby and somehow her DNA was altered by her captives to change her skin color? None of that makes the least amount of sense. I mean if she was the usual glowing white European we generally see then at least the premis would have made sense. The thing of course is how could she possibly use poisoned lipstick without it being a suicide mission? Even if she just put it on seconds prior to the kiss and had some protection on her lips she’d have to quickly wipe off her lips afterwords to prevent being poisoned….But she didn’t appear to.

    That being said I still give the episode extremely high marks because it was really entertaining. I also like the level of CG they’ve been able to pull off for a series. Used to be only big budget movies with CG like that. This was a really good come back episode…..Then again…The past few weeks they’ve had these specials about Dr. Who leading up to the first episode. The BBC really gets it when it comes to the fan base. They highlight and have performers discuss different aspects of the show (They do it on other series too…But not to the extent of Dr. Who). They seem to understand that if you rally the fans prior to the new season that you’ll not only solidify the hard core fans, but convert amny casual fans in to more loyal fans. Funny how American shows haven’t figured this out yet. You’d think they’d have a keen eye for the obvious when it came to really promoting their series….

    • @Tundrabeast

      ‘Mels’ was the 1st regeneration of Amy and Rory’s child. Before being black she was white with blond hair (the child in the space suit that killed the Doctor).

      After the second regeneration into River, River ran away “to check something” with her words when she came back suggesting it was her legs. However, she was out of sight for half a minute or so. She would have had to bring the poison with her along with false lips or whatever.

      • I know she was white first….She was a white baby and then as you said she was supposedly the white girl in the space suite….So where did she get the DNA to change her skin color to mocha? Dr. Who has never changed color to my knowledge. I didn’t know it was possible, but then again it is fantasy so most anything is possible. I just thought that was such a strange transition that somewhere there should have been an explaination as to how she went from white to mocha then back to white again instead of making it like it was no big deal…Along with the severe jump in age…..From an early 20 something to a late thirties to forties something…..Another thing the doctor never does….I mean everything else fit nicely into the story but those and the idea that she could wear a deadly lipstick that didn’t effect her really needed some explaination in my opinion…

        • She “got the DNA” from regenerating. The Corsiar changed genders when regenerating, and “racial” changes are possible too. Previous incarnations of the Dr. Have not had the exact same skin tone (tho they have been similar), and a “race change” has nvr been officially ruled out. Dr.2 was originally to have been played w/makeup to darken his skin, and a turban, but Troughton changed his mind. The only constant of regeneration is that “you never know what you are going to get”. Unless the Time Lords intervene. Or, presumably, if one chooses to regen as a fashion move, as Romana did, but that basically wastes a lifetime.

        • By the way, how long have you been watching Dr. Who? The “jump in age” thi g you mentioned is ridiculous. The Dr has nearly always changed ages when regenerating: 1 -> 2 lost like 40 human years’ worth of aging, 3 -> 4 lost a good 10 or 20 yrs, and 5 -> 6 and 6 -> 7 got progressively older. Watch more than the last 5 yrs before commenting on basic Gallifreyan plot mechanics, plz.

          • I actually just started the last year of the last doctor (Bennet was it?) I think I recoreded and watched all of his episodes after that so I really don’t know. I was just basing it on one of the specials where they showed all the doctors from I think as far back as the 60’s (Is that right? It’s been around that long…I heard of it in the 80’s, but only got interested a couple years ago and have been hooked ever since)….Like I said it is fantasy so I guess they can play as loose as they want to with how things work….

            • When Romana chose to regen, she went through several choices, someof which were racially diverse.
              If by “Bennet” you meant “Tennant”, then that’s just the 2 most recent. Dr. 1 appeared to be in his late 70s or 80s! He even walked with a cane sometimes. The age can change a lot.
              If you get the chance, check out the old episodes! While they are oft great, Just be aware that they were made with tiny budgets, so the costumes, sets, plots and, in many cases, acting, are not nearly as good as the modern episodes. Some of the actors (especially all of the Doctors) were good, but some were embarassingly bad, and 90% of the monsters were obviously paper mache or somethibg equally silly! 😀

              • Thanks for the info for this rookie….I’ll check it out…Thanks again

        • The Doctor has actually regenerated, becoming younger like the 2nd Doctor or becoming older, like the 7th Doctor. The writers have actually kept this process pretty constant. And regeneration isn’t confined to a certain race and never in the series has it been suggested so. The DNA for regeneration does not have to be acquired beforehand, it just happens. Facial features and hair colour are parts of DNA just as ethnicity is so if the doctor can change from brunette to blonde then it’s safe to say that he can change his skin colour.
          And clearing up one of your earlier questions, though it isn’t defined how River’s poisonous lipstick works, since she uses it constantly and she says it was planned for her to use it on the doctor AND she was trained, I’m assuming that since birth she was somehow altered or built up resistance to the poison so that she could have it on her, without it causing her harm. Normally that would be a bit extreme a task but since she was trained since birth, then maybe it’s possible! :)

        • I’ve always assumed that the Doctor is ABLE to regenerate into ANY type (or coloring) of person, so why not Melody “the child of the TARDIS”?

          As for the age jump, he has been older (early Doctors) & will be again soon (Dr. #12 will make a big age jump from Matt Smith).

      • It is explicitly asked and answered in the Sarah Jane Adventures that the Doctor can change race. The Doctor doesn’t even have to regenerate into human form (as Romana demonstrated in her fashionable regenerations).

  3. Clarification: The Teselecta did not shoot Mels. It had “fainted”. Hitler shot her before Rory punched him. Mels even says something about Hitler being a lousy shot.

  4. i think the is definetley going to be a twist amy dies

    • Amy dprobably oesn’t die. Photos were leaked of her kissing the Dr on the forhead after arguing w/Rory abt something (Rory had 3 champaigne glasses, suggesting the plan was a group drink or picnic), and him then going to the TARDIS alone Looked like a goodbye kiss.

  5. I absolutely hate Moffat’s DW and watching is almost painful because he’s ruined a great show.

    • I have never been able to wrap my head around the concept of people professing to find a particular show “almost painful” to watch but watching nonetheless…and posting on a website about said show. The stuff I stop liking, I simply stop watching. I like DW a great deal, that is why I am here.

  6. The third picture of Robot Amy and River reminds me of something the ‘child’ River said in the second episode – “The spaceman is going to eat me”. Could it be that in 1969 the Teselecta morphed into a walking spacesuit in order to shrink the child River in it’s light beam and suck her through it’s mouth so the jellyfish antibodies could kill her? Maybe it wasn’t River in the spacesuit that killed the doctor. Didn’t she break out of the spacesuit as a child anyways?

  7. About River/Mel race issue……when she regens at the end of Day of the Moon there is a black guy in the alley. Maybe that factored into her race change? I generaly thought that the regen process would somehow account for whatever creatures are nearby. What would happen if a Time Lord changed into an Ood while they were on Earth?

    As far as Amy dying, it would be a kind of a neat story to have her die and Rory blaming the Doctor. Rory could in grief become a villian.

  8. I love River Song as a character, she is probably my favourite in this current series. Amy is too annoying and Rory is pathetic so they drive me nuts. The Doctor has his good and bad days as far as I am concerned.
    I feel that too many of the episodes this season are really dark and almost horror like. I enjoyed the occasional episode in previous seasons that seemed more humorous.
    This particular episode felt rushed as some others have said. Suddenly we find out about Mels, then she becomes River, who begins bad but quickly has a change of heart. Then the episode is over. Time to move on. Feels like it could have been developed over a longer period of time.
    I do really enjoy Doctor Who and cant wait to see River Song again soon.

    • I think Rory is fantastic. He’s becoming my favorite on the show. And I think Arthur does a great job.

    • OK, so you like your Sci-Fi funny, your women quiet and your men “in-charge”. Then go watch 3rd Rock from the Sun or something else equally boring.

  9. I wince every time I watch the show now, because so much of it is played for laughs. I’ve not seen that done since Bonnie Langford was his assistant, and that killed the series for twenty years. Its not a pantomine.

    The whole way River Song behaved in ‘Lets Kill Hitler’ was absurd, and I can’t believe that any script editor would let the show get away with such poor plotting, and such dreadful, B-movie dialogue. As for getting rid of her excess regenerations – I can’t think of a cruder way for a writer to just strip them out. The only surprising thing was that it would be done so blatantly. I sat there open mouthed, expecting that they would do something different because it COULDN’T be that – but it was.

    On that subject, why exactly did the ship have killer robots flying around executing anyone who forgot to carry their ID tag? I mean – other than giving the characters a way of disabling the ship? Can you imagine working anywhere that instant death would result from forgetting your badge?

    As for Mels – well, I was impressed. Genuinely. She was on screen for a matter of minutes and I can honestly say, I have never hated anyone as much in such a short space of time. I’m sure she was meant to be cool and wacky, but she came off as exactly the kind of gibbering maniac who wees in your garden because it’s Christmas then shoots you in the face. It’s not big and it’s not clever. I breathed a sigh of releafe when she died, because if she had become a regular character it would have been unwatchable.

    Matt Smith has flashes of being a good Doctor, in the same way that Amy and Rory have flashes of being interesting characters (I quite like the situation of having a married couple in the TARDIS, but overall, I really don’t like the direction they are taking the series. The idea that the Doctor is an ancient monster steeped in blood is the direct opposite of the original concept – a meddling, pacifistic know it all who wouldn’t deliberately hurt a fly. Can you honestly see anyone describing earlier incarnations of the Doctor as ‘steeped in blood?’ Quite the opposite.

    Mind you – my big hate at the moment is reserved for shows like Dr Who Confidential, and any time someone connected with the series opens their gob. Drunk though he may have been most of the time, Tom Baker clearly took the show seriously. Everyone now just goes on about how this is going to be the best episode yet, how it’s raised the bar and is full of amazing things and….please pass me the rest of the press release…. surely there are people working on this who realise how dire it’s become? OK, the monsters are better and the sets don’t wobble, but the scripts make no sense and the dialogue is just poor.

    I love the series, and no one is happier than I am when they get it right (something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue – didn’t see that coming, I can forgive them a lot for that), but – poor old Matt Smith is being lumbered with some bloody awful episodes and I don’t think he’s going to enjoy attending conventions much when he retires.

    • Likely the ship had death robots to make certain no one abused the tech for illicit purposes. Remember that the whole purpose if that ship was authoritarian, heavy-handed, and violent. The folks who commusioned and crewed that craft took themselves far, far too seriously.
      Not thrilled abt the regen transfer, given how much of a hard line 13 was repeatedly established as being.

      • Hi Amra,

        I take your point about the nature of the society, but lets apply Occams razor here – instant death because you have forgotten your ID pass? Even the Nazi’s didn’t apply that within their own bases. It’s not heavy handed, it’s insane!

        It just reminded me of the sequence in Galaxy Quest when they have to go through the crusher/stomper/grinder deck, and som eone yells ‘why the bloody hell is this thing on the ship anyway! What does it do!’

        Shoving things in because they can be used in the plot some other way is just bad writing.

        Totally agree about the hard line on 13 – but I doubt they will have broken that and River will have given the doctor any more. I suspect she just used up hers to keep him alive, which is pretty pointless.

        There are loads of ways around the 13 without leaving the cannon. I’m pretty sure the Time Lords were going to strip the Doc of his regenerations and give them to the Master at one point. No doubt there is still a way of doing that, even if Galifrey is gone.

        But River being a Time Lord does leave you looking back at previous episodes and saying – how come the Doctor didn’t realise there was another Time Lord running around with him? Even if she was on her last regen?

        Its all just sloppy, and the show deserves better than that.

        • Sav. . sry for not replying sooner! hadn’t been watching. I’m a thread necro here. .
          I agree the instadeath is insane, but if it is part of a heavy-handed bureaucracy, crazier things *have* happened in such societies. Consider this: in the movie “Wargames”, there is a scene where a fake launch alert is sent to a nuclear missile silo to test whether the officers would actually go through w/sending all that death into action. The senior officer refuses, and his subordinate *pulls his sidearm and trains it on him* (“Turn your key, sir!”). Not sure how accurate the movie was, but no one batted an eye at the possibility. Consider now, that the Tessalecta’s crew were charged with managing pretty much *limitless* power, since they can change history if not careful, and they become like the guys with the keys to nukes, only a hundredfold.
          OFC, that same crew is perfectly OK w/going severely off-mission by punishing River BEFORE the recorded point where she actually was supposed to kill the Dr. and, as the Dr. noted “I’m not dead yet”.
          And then, in “Wedding of River Song” they actually negate their own mission where River is concerned when they help the Dr.
          Hastily written plot, anyone?
          BTW, the Time Lords were not going to strip the regenerations from the Dr. to give to the Master, but rather to the *Valeyard*, who was actually just an evil extract of the Dr. How exactly this was to be done was never revealed. Note the clearly the Time Lords progressed a LOT by that point, from when earlier versions of the Dr. dealt w/them, as they previously did not even understand the tech that ran time travel (the Eye of Harmony was just a myth before “Deadly Assassin”!) A lot had changed right before the Time War, and they had reconquered a great deal of their lost heritage, largely due to the Dr’s conflicts w/the Master.

          • I believe it’s true that people in charge of nukes do carry side arms in case someone goes mental, but thats under the control of a human fellow officer who makes the call, and it’s based on someone following or not following a legitimate order from on high. If some wack job was reaching for the button, I’d be happy to support a subordinate capping him to make him stop. But if he shot his boss for not having an ID badge – but hell, you then point out that their whole mission is flawed anyway, so why not have in in Instadeath.

            You got me on the Valyard thing. I started watching that one, assumed it was the master, gave up before they explained it was the kind of ‘left over’ bits of the doctor (which sort of made him – Danny DeVito to Colin Bakers Swatzenegger. Yes, I’ve seen Twins. Yes, I feel the shame.)

            Bottom line is, it’s fiction. Fiction can be argued round, retconned, rebooted, fudged. So – whatever arguements we have here about the abilities of the Timelords, whether the regeneration thing was another gift of the Tardis, whether the limit on regenerating is genetic or social ‘I say, old man, I think you’ve had one body too many…’ – it don’t matter none. When the Doctor hits 13, the’ll find some way of keeping him going. They have to, or no more plastic figures to sell…

            • Moffat already claimed to have more life for the Dr, and that it would occur in a “cheeky” (flippant/cheap/smug) way.

              On the money abt it being able to be reworked on the fly. I get the distinct impression that Moffat tosses planned plotlines out if too many ppl guess them along the way.

              The Valeyard was somehow an extract of evil essence from the Dr, somewhere between his 12th and 13th (far future, in those days) incarnations, if memory serves. No one ever explained how that was even possible, ofc, but Dr. 6 was gone so fast, and the show gone just a bit later, that they rly hadn’t enough lead-up to properly flesh it out. The Master actually helped SAVE the Dr. that time, tho he had his reasons, ofc.

  10. I have a question: why does Hitler have an accent? We know that the TARDIS translates every language into the user’s mother language. In this case, it is English. Hitler speaks German, the TARDIS translates German into English. Why does Hitler have an accent? He speaks German with an accent, or what?

    • Mebbe it’s a ‘cuz everyone in the gorram ‘verse knows that pint-sized psycho had an accent. So viewers go in expectin’ it an’ such.

      Sorry, had to insert Jayne-speak due to your excellent choice o’ name. He’s my fave character from Firefly, when I’m not starin’ at ‘Nara, that is.

      • Oh yeah, ‘Nara.
        “if anyone needs me, I’ll be on my bunk.”
        And as for ‘Jayne’s World’…
        What I wouldn’t give to see Joss Whedon direct a season of Doctor Who…!!

        • I was so gonna add the bunk comment m’self. . . At least ah got Vera. Before the movie, anyways.

          Joss would kill everyone. Even faster than Russel Davies on an aggro tear, and he had a lot of those. Joss = main character death. Straight-up correlation. Would be great dialogue, but Moffat can already write some of the best lines around when he has a mind to, so it would just be a matter of tone.

          What w/all the USA focus of late (pandering to BBC America, much, guys? Heh), it could work, tho.

          • Oh yeah, and things being previewed on BBC America at the same time as in the UK (or earlier sometimes?) I get the financials on that, though. Anything which keeps the series alive is fine by me, as long as they keep trying to get it right.

            And – why shouldn’t the Doctor come back as an American? I even have a suggestion:


            • Americans can’t be the Dr. because America has no lords. Lords would be persons involved in foreign government, from a US standpoint, which immediately revokes US citizenship by default. Thus, the Dr.’s perceived accent must always be British! No other country has a House of Lords, after all!

              Besides, The show would die if it happened; it’s a British show and a source of British pride! Having the main character portrayed by someone other than a British subject would kill the home/main fan-base. Even having an American play The Master left a bad taste for some, and let’s not forget that the American movie had The Doctor dying at the hands of an American doctor (it was indicated that Dr. 7 would have survived the bullets w/o regenerating if she had just left him alone! Ironic, no?

              Too, I suspect the real reason Our Boy in the Blue Box hangs about Merry Ol’, is that Susan picked it out of all possible places in the multiverse, to hang about as a student and, eventually, to marry (albeit much later in time).

              Samuel L. Jackson would make a great Master, tho: “The truth is, you’re the weak, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. And that suits me just FINE, Ringo.”

  11. Ah, well, you see there are two possible reasons. Firstly, Hitler was actually Austrian, NOT German, so what the TARDIS is doing is trying to translate what he is saying with a distinction which makes it possible to determine his racial group as distinct from other people, who are all natives of Berlin and would sound different.

    The other possibility is that the whole thing was a dreadful, badly written piece of pantomime, so having Hitler sound like one of those Youtube ‘Downfall’ mash ups was only to be expected.

    • Ppl from known areas usually keep their accents in DW unless they cannot find actors who can manage to fake ’em. Even then they usually still have mangled accents. OFC, some accents they don’t bopther with unless the person is specifically supposed to be *very* ethnic in their characterization.

      However. . I tend to agree w/you that it was just a production flub.

      What *I* really want to know is where all the blood Mels was leaking went to! No bullet hole, no blood, despite Rory claiming he would “try to stop the bleeding” and River was blood-free later. Lousy production values! Too much sound and fury to fit in logic anymore. I think Matt is tops, and Moffat can write TERRIFIC dialogue when he isn’t having everyone run around and scream at the tops of their lungs but, ironically, this last seasoncould have used more “silence” of the mundane kind.